News from – Peerutin Architects


How are the big architectural firms in Cape Town faring in the current property sector slowdown?

David Peerutin, a senior partner of Peerutin Architects, says that the level of enquiries remains almost as high as previously but developers are now more cautious and inclined to take a hard look at project costs.

Although the slowdown became evident in 2008 it has not as yet, said Peerutin, resulted in the cancellation of commissions for his firm. On several projects most of the work, he said, has been done and the go-ahead could come soon.

In the pipeline at Peerutin’s right now are a R200 million mixed use development and two other projects in the R30 to R50 million bracket.

“We are fairly confident that some of this work will proceed soon,” said Peerutin.

Many developers, he said, consider this to be a time of “cautious opportunity” as land and buildings become more readily available, at more realistic prices. It is possible now to find genuine bargains, he says.

If any one of the new projects materialises, the firm could be recruiting by May.

The call today, he added, is for firms which can add value to the project team by reviewing designs, cutting costs or working on feasibilities. Some 25% of Peerutin Architect’s effort and time is now being put into this type of work, much of which might well not result in commissions.

“It should, however, always be remembered that design should not be compromised because the success or failure of a project lies in the execution of good or bad design.”

“After a decade or more of really intensive work, many architectural firms, including Peerutin’s, in reality now welcome the chance to re-evaluate what they are doing, strategise and set new goals.”

“I understand that we are not the only firm doing this at the moment and I believe there can be value in this exercise,” he said.

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